While not as high profile as trailblazers like Marcus Trescothick and Jonathan Trott, Yardy's very public battle with his illness was one of the first examples of a player's problems with mental health becoming public knowledge and the all rounder's subsequent honesty about his issues paved the way for many others to admit their own difficulties.
Remarkably given what was going on his life, Yardy was part of the England squad that won the Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean in 2010 and he played 28 one-day internationals. At Sussex he won three County Championships and the Twenty20 Cup and Pro40 title.
But as he reveals in his autobiography he had begun noticing that all was not well as far back as 2008 when he found he was struggling to sleep and at one point cried on his way to play the game he loved.
His breakdowns continued in the midst of the most successful spell of his career and he was forced to withdraw from England's World Cup squad before leaving the field in the middle of the game for Sussex saying he felt in "danger".
It was playing at this higher level that brought with it the headlines and it was perhaps a sign of how things have moved when appreciating depression as an illness that Geoffrey Boycott's criticism of Yardy at the time was roundly condemned.
"He must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him," was Boycott's reaction before adding, "obviously it was too much for him at this level. If any blame is attached it's partly to the selectors because I'm sorry, he's not good enough at this level."
I doubt there was any deliberate malice in Boycott's comments but it was interesting how he sought to connect Yardy's problems to his perceived poor performances. For Boycott, and I suspect many people who have been lucky enough not to suffer from depression, there has to be logical reason for feeling low.
Boycott went on to state that the only time he had played badly ("like a lemming") was when the death of his mother coincided with his loss of the Yorkshire captaincy and he was "in a mess".
For Boycott, and I suspect many others, these were obvious triggers for feeling "upset" but as anyone who has suffered from depression knows it is not as simple as that. Sometimes there are no obvious triggers, no rhyme or reason to how you are feeling and no beginning or end in sight.
In fairness to Boycott he was quick to admit he didn't know enough about depression to really comment and softened his views as time went on but importantly Yardy had started a debate and seven years on I think the episode was a turning point in the sport's understanding of depression.
After this episode Yardy continued to struggle as his depression manifested itself into obsessive compulsive disorder. At one stage in his book he recalls barricading himself in his house in Australia convinced he was being threatened by intruders. Another time he spends weeks agonising over the fact that he might have killed someone on a night out and simply forgotten about it. It's painful stuff.
Yardy retired from playing at the end of the 2015 season and coached Sussex's Under-17 side in 2016. He scored more than 14,000 runs for the club in all formats and in his new role will oversee all age groups.
These are fine achievements but it is for his honesty, bravery and determination and for kick starting an important debate that Yardy may be best remembered.
Opening Up Cricket is a not for proft community interest company that promotes mental wellbeing and suicide prevention through cricket.